Depending on family and relationship history forms of violence differ by cause, etiology, manifestation, and impact. Although an act of violence, a “hit,” directed at a current or former intimate partner may appropriately be labeled “intimate partner violence,” as Sue Osthoff explained, “a hit is not a hit. Context matters. A lot. A whole lot” (2002:1540). Not all “hits” are created equal. In recent years, and increasingly, practitioners, researchers, and advocates, are considering distinctions among types of violence and specifically re-asserting and clarifying violence as a particular dynamic. From the perspective of Mill’s personal trouble, violence is characterized by a systemic pattern of behavior (rather than isolated acts of violence) that establishes dominance over another person typically through intimidation, coercion, isolation, and terror-inducing violence and threats of violence (Dutton & Goodman, 2005:748). Power and control are central as motives for and impact of violence. The language of “coercive control” or “coercion” has also been used to describe the phenomenon of violence (Dutton & Goodman, 2005:748). Kelly and Johnson (2008) described coercive controlling violence (a concept previously labeled patriarchal terrorism and then intimate terrorism ) as “emotionally abusive intimidation, coercion, and control coupled with physical violence against partners” (Kelly & Johnson, 2008:478).
Violence as “a personal trouble” is most often chracterized with battering, a term that has been used in some cases as a synonym for any violence against an intimate partner, regardless of context. Battering may, and typically does, include distinct acts of violence, however not all acts of violence are a component of battering (Osthoff, 2002:1535). Non-battering violence might include